22:47 GMT19 October 2020
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    In a statement on 2 January 2019, the US State Department announced that Washington suspended its obligations under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, adding that the withdrawal process will be complete within six months.

    The termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which was clinched by the US and then-USSR in December 1987, may lead to the deployment of new American missiles in the Asia-Pacific Region, according to an article published in Japan's Asahi newspaper.

    The article claims that the scrapping of the INF Treaty will result in the US deploying its latest medium-range missiles on the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean, as well as Japan and the Philippines, in the next seven years.

    READ MORE: China Opposes Washington's Exit From INF Treaty, Calls for US-Russia Dialogue

    Under this scenario, Japan "will be at the forefront of the conflict between the United States and China", and will also become a target for strikes by possible enemies. 

    Asahi argued that apart from Chinese soil, Russia's Far East and parts of Siberia will also fall within the operational range of the new US missiles if they are deployed in Japan. This may have a negative impact on Russian-Japanese relations and negotiations on a bilateral peace treaty

    Referring to Beijing's increasing military clout, the article stressed the necessity of reviewing the INF Treaty so that it could also include China.
    On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow would be suspending the INF Treaty following the US' decision to terminate the accord.

    READ MORE: US Senator Urges Congress to Pass Bill Preventing Arms Race After INF Pullout

    "Our response will be reciprocal. US partners have announced that they were suspending their participation in the [INF] Treaty, and we are suspending it as well. They have announced that they are engaged in research and development, and we will do the same thing," Putin underlined.

    His statement came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited stated that Washington would suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty and begin a six-month withdrawal process.

    The United States has repeatedly insisted that Russia's 9M729 missile violates the terms of the INF Treaty, an allegation that has been denied by Moscow.


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    obligations, scenario, deployment, missiles, withdrawal, INF Treaty, United States, Russia
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